VA Trademarks ‘GI Bill’ to Shield Vets from Deceptive Marketing



For about two years, VA’s online communications team has been closely tracking the advertising and recruitment efforts of for-profit schools looking to bring in GI Bill tuition dollars. In some cases, these schools have ensnared Veterans looking for info by using official-looking websites, which funneled potential recruits to those schools without any balanced, objective information. We aimed to get the word out in order to help Veterans make the best decision possible.

This all came to a head earlier this year, when a group of state attorneys general led an effort to sue the company that owned GIBill.com, a particularly deceptive site. The company settled, and the website was turned over to VA and now redirects to our GI Bill page.

Today, VA announced the next step in the fight against misleading info campaign waged by schools after your hard-earned benefits. The term ‘GI Bill’ has been trademarked by VA with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. VA is the sole owner of the mark, and in the coming months, it will issue terms of use for the phrase. This move goes a long way to enforce accountability to those who would deceive student Veterans for financial gain.

Of course, with millions of dollars up for grabs, schools and marketing firms won’t lie down because of the trademark, so we’ll remain vigilant to ensure Veterans aren’t victims of deceptive recruitment when they decide to make the most out of their education benefits.

Author

Alex Horton

Comments

  1. william f. hemphill    

    i’ve been trying to locate grants or other benefits that a may get a home and maybe start selfemployed type work, i’m a disabled vet service from 1972 to 1975, but the sites i get want money upfront so i don’t use them. could you send me info.

    1. Sharon O'Dell    

      Mr. Hemphill,

      Take a look at nasdvob.org. I am a volunteer.
      NASDVOB offers free training for SD Vets who want to create and launch their own business. This is a 24 month applied educational program to start & grow your own business, and to learn how to participate in local/state/Federal government contracting. Next classes begin Jan 21 2013, enrollment is underway now.
      Read some reviews about the program:
      http://greatnonprofits.org/organizations/view/nasdvob-national-association-of-service-disabled-veteran-owned-businesses

  2. Louis J Keroack    

    I want to protect our soldiers and veterans as well as potential new service soldiers.
    All benefits were hard earned by our Soldiers and Veterans like myself and would hate
    To see it lost!

    Louis J Keroack – US Army Air Corp

  3. Louis J Keroack    

    Please protect our Veterans and Soldiers
    Benefits…Hard earned.
    Louis J Keroack-US Army Air Corp.

  4. Rob Moody    

    You guys should make available a way for folks to report suspected bogus sites.

    1. Jose Inoa    

      You can report false companies to http://www.FBI.gov ,
      or the Internet Crime Complaint Center (iC3) at http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
      or the National White Collar Crime Center at http://www.nw3c.org/
      Thanks to the new trademark and these organizations, we’re extremely protected. You just have to ask for confirmation, sir.

  5. Karen Falgore    

    Better yet Rob, a list of ways to identify bogus sites and opportunities. I am sure there are tell-tale signs when going through the process with any of these for-profit educational or mortgage related sites. Jose – Is there such a resource?

  6. Richard Brothers    

    This sounds like another example of wasted funds, while veterans wait over a year to get a home study for ILP’s, and over two years to have an appealed certified to the BVA, the va waste taxpayer funds to trademark the term GI Bill. Who are the predators now? It is one thing to put bad web cites out of business, its another to waste funds doing it. This is just another Obama administration policy of trying to act as if they are doing beneficial things for the veterans, when all they while talking about cutting pay raises for the active duty, getting ready to charge more for Tricare retirees and their families. This isn’t about protecting veterans, its about the nanny state of the democrat party. Frankly veterans are smart enough to tell the difference between deceitful people what they really need the va doesn’t seem to be able to provide.
    1. Timely decisions on claims
    2. Reasonable processing times on appeals
    3. ILP home studies in less than a year
    4. Clothing allowances approved instead of being denied because of an appliance issued for a service connected problem by the VA, was not issued by the local VA.
    5. Access to medical care in reasonable time frames and from qualified doctors, not the thousands of immigrants who barely speak English and are the cheapest to hire.
    The list goes on and on…….

  7. Bert    

    Fraud against sportertoop is an ongoing problem. Fraudsters are drawn by two things: 1) Guaranteed monthly paycheck/stipend, 2) Gullible, ingorant sportertoop. By keeping a keen, critical eye on education-related outlays, The Government is working to protect itself, as well as vets who have done their time in the uniform, and are looking to better themselves personally and professionally by attending school, and don’t need another screwing at the hands of unscrupulous persons trying to sell college degrees, cars, real estate, whathaveyou.
    Consumer fraud education resources are out there, but it’s a complex and involved subject. Hopefully, future veterans will get a good outbriefing and have access to avenues of recourse and arbitration and maybe legal support through the VA. They spend billions annually on veterans, they’ve arguably earned their education benefits especially in recent years at risk of life and limb, make sure they have a fair shot at getting a degree instead of getting the shaft.

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